Helm Art

Our expertise

Managing and selling artworks and collections

Helm Art gives you clear advice on managing and selling artworks and collections and works closely with trusted art experts.

We work with you to determine what’s best for your beneficiaries and/or your collection, incorporating a forensic sales and management strategy where appropriate.

Art as an asset

Helm Art guides you on managing all aspects of your collection. It also guides you on a sales strategy for  your collection 

1. Selling your collection or raising finance in lieu of a sale

In conjunction with trusted art experts, Helm Art forensically develops a sales and marketing strategy to help you get the best return on your investment and handles negotiations/the entire sales process for you. Should it be appropriate/ desirable to obtain finance by offering your artwork(s) as collateral in lieu of sale, Helm Art will strategise with you for this purpose. 

2. Loaning your works to a museum or gallery

Helm Art negotiates art loan agreements with iconic museums and galleries and ascertains if there are immunity from seizure risks which need to be taken into account in advance of a loan.

3. Managing and protecting your art collection

In addition to due diligence reviews, Helm Art regularly handles questions relating to export restrictions, authenticity and provenance, as well as insurance coverage. Helm Art also provides guidance on setting up curatorial systems.

4. Looking towards the future: Collectors, Trustees and Artists

Helm Art advises on establishing and managing art trusts, while taking other assets into account, and can also provide guidance on setting up arts-related foundations. If you are an artist pro-actively looking to strategise for your Artist’s Estate, Helm Art can partner with you for this purpose.

5. Disputes: Collectors, Trustees and Artists

Helm Art acts to assist clients in initiating and defending claims relating to all aspects of art as an asset and in so doing seeks to resolve disputes efficiently and in a cost-effective manner.

6. Other art-related mandates

Helm Art handles a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional matters involving art, please be in touch to ascertain if we can assist.

Helm Art's Expertise

Read about recent questions and situations we have handled for our clients.

Our clients needed a management strategy for their extensive art collection held on trust, which was spread out between storage in Switzerland, homes in other countries and iconic museums in the UK.

Together with our art experts, we implemented a three-pronged strategy that ensured the artworks were either on display at our client’s home, on loan to museums, or sold. We negotiated loans of high-quality artworks to iconic museums and developed a sales strategy to maximise returns, ensuring a robust marketing strategy and a competitive auction process in locations throughout Europe.

Our clients were planning to loan a number of works to museums in the UK and wanted to ensure that their paintings were protected from claims by third parties while on loan. We determined that the museums were not considered “approved institutions” under legislation and therefore could not give guarantees that works on loan would not be seized for the period of the loan. We then advised the museums to take steps to become approved institutions so that our clients could loan artworks to them.

In a recent sale we achieved extremely favourable terms for our client through a competitive tender process with major auction houses and some specialist continental auction houses. We negotiated with the auction houses to secure reduced fees relating to commissions [ both seller’s commission and buyer’s premium], insurance, shipping, authentication and marketing and in doing so secured total savings for our client of roughly 15% – 19% with two leading auction houses.

Our client was owed a substantial sum of money by someone who did not have the liquidity to pay with cash. We arranged for our client to be paid with a painting valued at the amount owed. We confirmed the authenticity of the work, ensured that the correct moment for the passing of risk was outlined and that adequate insurance was in place for transporting the piece.

Our client displayed artworks at home owned by a trust. The Helm Art strategised with local Counsel on the beneficiaries reporting obligations [ as well as reviewing any reporting obligations of the Trustees of the art trust] and any declarations to be made to tax authorities in relation to artworks on loan to them. We also advised on putting in place an agreement to reflect the terms of the loan.